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Flour millers reject raise in wheat support price




  • Pakistan Flour Mills Association (PFMA) Punjab Chairman Chaudhry Abdul Jabbar rejecting the decision of the Economic Co-ordination Committee (ECC) to enhance wheat support price has warned that 20 kilograms flour bag would be available to the consumers at Rs 800 per bag after the fresh increase. 

    He said the decision would not only impact the consumers but also damage the flour milling industry, which was already under severe stress due to hike in the prices of raw material. He claimed that fresh increase might result in closure of domestic flour milling industry and government should review its decision. 

    PFMA-Punjab Chairman said that an emergent meeting of the Association had also been convened to evolve a future line of action on repeated increase in wheat prices by the government. Another leader of the flour milling industry, Liaquat Ali Khan said after the fresh increase government would pay additional Rs 200 billion under the head of interest to the banks for obtaining loan to procure wheat. 

    He said it was better that this additional amount should be given to the growers as subsidy on fertiliser, seed, electricity and diesel as it would not only ensure prosperity of the growers but also provision of flour to the consumers on cheaper rates. PFMA Pakistan’s former Chairman Asim Raza Ahmad in his reaction said it was the obligation of the government to provide flour to the masses on cheaper rates. But the way government was enhancing its prices might lead the masses to starvation one day, he criticised the government. 

    He said that during last three years wheat prices in the international market remained lower than domestic prices due to which wheat products were imported by the importers for sale in Pakistan. Last year this difference reduced to some extent but now fresh increase would initiate that process again causing negative impact on domestic flour milling industry. 

    PFMA Punjab’s former Chairman Habib ur Rehman Leghari in his reaction claimed that fixing wheat price was a provincial issue after passage of 18th amendment. Mian Muhammad Riaz, PFMA Lahore leader, said that millers would take all out steps to ensure reversal of this decision. 

    Copyright Business Recorder, 2012

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